Andre Leon Talley Returns All GoFundMe Donations Raised To Help Cover $515K Unpaid Rent

Fashion legend and guru Andre Leon Talley is feeling all the love and encouragement from his supporters worldwide.  Once the news about his impending eviction from his $1 million mansion in White Plains, NY, supporters could not stand the thought of the 72-year-old icon being homeless. Immediately, a GoFundMe was set up thanks to stylist Akeem Smith to help raise funds on Talley’s behalf.  Now Talley is moving forward with recovering his home but without the help of fans.

As we previously reported, the former Vogue creative director and editor-at-large is embroiled in a battle with former friends George Malkemus, former head of Manolo Blahnik USA, and his business partner and husband Anthony Yurgaitis.  The couple is attempting to evict Talley from the home after discrepancies in rent payments tallying over $500k. 

Talley, however, refutes the couple’s claims and filed a countersuit in order to have the home placed in a trust until the title is transferred in his name.  The fashion titan states that he has paid back more than the amount of the purchase price, as well as hundreds of thousands in repairs and home improvements.

Enter Akeem Smith – a breakout artist best known for his 2020 show at Red Bull Arts, “No Gyal Can Test”- who could not sit back and watch one of his heroes, suffer.  Smith proceeded to set up an unsolicited GoFundMe with the intention of getting Talley back on his feet.  “I am not going to be tastefully quiet or cool in this case,” wrote Smith on the site. “Mr. Talley is in a big pickle and we should do our best as a community to help him out. As an elder, he is a leader and a treasure, and we must look out for him—especially since he still has so much more to contribute and knowledge to spread.”

So far, of the page’s $500,000 goal, only a portion has been filled as it is just about to breach the $12k mark.  Upon catching wind of Smith’s attempt, Talley took to social media to express his gratefulness.  “I cannot thank you all enough for your outpouring of love and concern,” he wrote on Instagram. “I am healthy in mind and spirit and am quite grateful for the many messages from dear friends and extended community.”

Talley added, “As you probably know from The Chiffon Trenches, I’ve experienced many peaks and valleys in my life and remain quite resilient.”  He acknowledged the “unfortunate” matter to which he is dealing with, but states it will be handled by his “very capable legal team at this time.”

He then addresses Smith saying, “To Akeem Smith and the people who put up the Go Fund Me and those who have contributed, I appreciate the thoughtful gesture and generosity, but it is completely unnecessary.” 

Smith has since spoken to Talley’s team and they have concluded that the funds donated to the site will be refunded.  “I spoke to his manager,” Smith revealed while interviewing with Page Six. “They were thankful and grateful for me doing it, and I explained to them why I did it. They understood.” 

On the site, Akeem assures all who donated that their “well wishes have not gone unnoticed”, and asks that no more donations should be sent.   

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